Risks of consumption of contaminated seafood: the Quincy Bay case study

Author(s): Cooper CB, Doyle ME, Kipp K

Abstract

A recent EPA-sponsored study of sediment and seafood contamination in Quincy Bay revealed elevated levels of several complex organic pollutants frequently of concern in human health assessments. A seafood consumption risk assessment was conducted using data from samples collected in Quincy Bay in the methodology developed for EPA's Office of Marine and Estuarine Protection for such assessments. Results showed estimated plausible, upperbound excess cancer risks in the 10(-5) to 10(-2) range. These results are comparable to those found in other seafood contamination risk assessments for areas where consumption advisories and fishing restrictions were implemented. Regulatory response included consumption advisories for lobster tomalley (hepatopancreas) and other types of locally caught seafood. Uncertainties inherent in seafood risk assessment in general and for the Quincy Bay case are discussed, along with implications for further action.

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